Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of dual-task constraints on movement and force control in children who are overweight and obese.
Design: Twelve children who are overweight and obese (4–12 yrs old) and 12 age-matched children with normal weight participated. The children walked along a path at a self-selected pace under two conditions: walking carrying nothing (baseline condition) and walking while carrying a box (dual-task condition).
Results: The overweight/obese group showed less normalized hand vertical motion and shoulder range of motion compared with the control group (all P’s < 0.05). However, in comparison with the baseline condition, the overweight/obese group decreased gait velocity and stride length and increased step width, lateral hand movement, lateral spine movement, and medial/lateral ground reaction force during the dual-task condition (all P’s < 0.05).
Conclusions: These findings indicate that children who are overweight and obese modify lateral movements and force organization when faced with dual-task constraints, which may influence their ability to maintain safety when dual tasking is required.